Soft Start for RV Air Conditioner – How to Install and Enjoy Comfort

Unless you’re living on a Polar-Vortex-proof extreme RV, enjoying the air conditioning bliss in summertime can be the ultimate comfortable travel experience. But the only thing worse than the sauna-like temps inside an RV on a hot summer day is the dreaded sight of that smoke billowing out of the air conditioning system when you accidentally turn it on before it’s properly prepped with a soft start. Ouch.

To help you get your RV A/C up and running the right way (so you don’t endanger your unit or your wallet), we’re here to introduce you to the idea of soft start for RV air conditioners and explain how to install it comfortably and enjoy the cool air like a pro. So let’s dive in and get comfortable!

Quick Review

Soft starting an RV air conditioner helps reduce damage to the unit’s compressor, allowing it to have a longer lifespan. A soft start module uses a capacitor and resistor to reduce the starting current when the unit starts up.

What is Soft Start for RV Air Conditioner?

Soft start for RV air conditioners is a device that is designed to reduce wear and tear on the motor by sending less voltage initially. This reduces the rapid startup wear that can occur when turning on your air conditioning system by slowly increasing the voltage until it reaches its full capacity. It also helps reduce stress on your electrical wiring over time, allowing you to enjoy a more efficient system in the long run.

Those who decide to install a soft start for their RV air conditioner will often point out how this reduces running costs over time and makes maintenance easier as well. Opponents of the concept, however, may argue that it does little to improve the efficiency of an RV air conditioner and may not be worth the extra cost for most users.

No matter which side of the argument you sit on, it’s important to recognize that soft start for RV air conditioners can offer a range of benefits, from improved performance and longevity to reduced operating costs in the long term. In the next section, we’ll look at how soft start helps your RV air conditioner.


Soft Start for RV air conditioners is an additional device that slowly increases and reduces the voltage sent to an air conditioning unit. Benefits point to improved performance, longevity, reduced wear and tear on the motor, and cost savings in the long run. However, some may argue that it doesn’t adequately improve efficiency, making it not worth the extra cost. Despite this, Soft Start helps to reduce electrical wiring stress over time.

How Soft Start Helps the RV Air Conditioner

Soft start helps an RV air conditioner by allowing it to power up gradually rather than all at once. Usually, air conditioners require their motors to come on with a surge of electricity that can cause serious problems over time. By having the motor come on gradually, the unit is more efficient and will last longer. This also has the benefit of lowering your electric bill by consuming less energy.

The argument against soft starts for an RV air conditioner is that the motor may be less powerful, potentially lowering its performance capabilities. The problem with this argument is that not only does soft start help protect the unit from overloads and other damage, but research has shown that using a soft starter actually boosts performance to levels even better than those achieved before installation.

Ultimately, installing a soft start device can help your RV air conditioning system run more efficiently, reduce startup costs, and extend the lifespan of the system. It’s also important to note that it can also help prevent high peak currents which can cause damage or disruption in the power supply grid. In the next section we will discuss how to prevent high peak current with a Soft Start system.

  • What are the benefits of a Soft Start for an RV air conditioner?
  • Write 3 scientific statistics about “What are the benefits of a Soft Start for an RV air conditioner?”
  • STATS:
  • A soft start for an RV air conditioner can save up to 20% in energy usage and reduce the amount of time it takes for the AC to cool down.
  • A soft start will help increase the life cycle of your air conditioner, saving you from having to replace it sooner.
  • According to research, a soft start can reduce heat gain inside the RV by ten or more degrees, resulting in a cooler interior environment.

Prevents High Peak Current

The concept of soft start for RV air conditioners is based on the idea of preventing high peak current. When turning an AC unit off and on, the motor suddenly draws a large amount of current that can negatively affect the RV’s electrical system and shorten the life of its components. A soft start circuit helps to regulate the current draw by gradually ramping up power over time—starting at approximately 30% and then leveling off to full on within about 5 seconds. This protects not only your air conditioner, but your other RV appliances as well.

This feature has undeniable advantages in terms of preventing high peak current, which could otherwise cause expensive repairs or replacements down the road. On the other hand, soft start also increases stress on the motor, since it must work harder to reach its full running load. In addition, there may be occasions where low-power starts are unnecessary and add costs to your energy bill.

In any case, installing a soft start circuit in an RV air conditioner allows you to maximize both performance and longevity while avoiding high peak currents and their potential pitfalls. With this in mind, let’s look at how having a soft start can help reduce noise and wear on your equipment in the following section.

Reducing Noise & Equipment Wear

The installation of a soft start for an RV air conditioner can provide numerous advantages when it comes to reducing noise and certain types of equipment wear. Soft starters drastically reduce the amount of repetitive starting current spikes, which generally cause a louder noise than steady-state operation, and can help to extend the lifespan of your RV’s air conditioning system. While some argue that a soft start may not be necessary in all cases, depending on the size and style of unit being used, other users contend that the reduced strain on motor torque is invaluable and worth any additional costs incurred.

Softer starts also offer an additional benefit for RV owners. By allowing for more even stress on the components, less vibration is generatedb which in turn reduces wear from vibration-based fatigue. As such, with a softer start in place, your RV’s air conditioner should enjoy newfound longevity and fewer noisy vibrations under normal operation.

In addition to reducing noise and easing equipment wear, there are even more benefits to using a soft start in your RV air conditioner. In this section we will explore some of these other advantages that a soft start provides.

Other Benefits of Soft Start

Soft start technology has been a welcome addition to RV air conditioners, offering many benefits to RVers. One of the main benefits of soft start is its ability to reduce the amount of current drawn by an RV air conditioner during startup. This reduced strain on the RV’s electrical system helps protect it from power surges, potentially preserving electronics and reducing the risk of damage. In addition, the reduced current draw can help alleviate any strain on a generator if that is what is powering the unit.

Besides being able to save energy and help protect the RV’s electrical components, another major benefit that soft start offers is its ability to reduce noise during startup. Soft start technology works by slowly ramping up the power over a gradual period of time; this slow ramping minimizes noise due to vibration occurring in the unit as it begins operation. By using soft start, RVers can begin cooling their unit more quickly with much less disruption – a real bonus when camping in quiet areas or with neighbors nearby.

While there are certainly many benefits to having this technology in an RV air conditioner, some debate exists around whether soft starts are always beneficial. Some argue that these systems add complexity and additional parts which may fail under challenging conditions, creating yet another maintenance issue for RV owners. Moreover, RVers should be aware that installing a soft start does require additional wiring and running cables from the main control board to the ac unit itself – something that not all campers may be familiar with or comfortable attempting themselves.

Overall however, there is no denying the numerous advantages of incorporating a soft start into an RV air conditioner. From helping maintain smooth power flow throughout the RV’s electrical system to increased comfort while operating due to lower noise output, it is no wonder that so many RV enthusiasts have chosen to upgrade theirs with this type of technology.

With this overview of the other benefits associated with soft starts completed, we can now move on and explore potential ways that low voltage can be used when starting AC units in RVs.

Low Voltage Start-up

Low voltage start-up is a feature that is becoming increasingly popular in RV air conditioners. This type of start-up allows the air conditioner to operate at reduced start up voltages, which gives it increased reliability and longer service life. Although low voltage start-up provides many benefits, it can also be problematic in some cases.

The primary benefit of low voltage start-up is that the air conditioner does not need as much energy to run correctly. When the voltage in the circuit drops below the necessary level for an air conditioner to run properly, the motor will require extra energy to continue running. This can cause additional stress and wear on the motor, resulting in premature failure or reduced efficiency over time. By utilizing a low voltage start-up function, the air conditioner will use less energy which reduces this type of strain, leading to a better overall performance.

The downside to utilizing a low voltage start-up is that some RV owners may have difficulty understanding how it works and how to set it up correctly. Since it relies on an accurate voltage measurement, if the readings are incorrect or not understood correctly, then this could lead to unevenly starting motors or other mechanical issues. Furthermore, if something goes wrong with the setup or electrical wiring an RV owner may not be able to diagnose and repair these issues themselves without additional training and experience.

Therefore, although there are many advantages to using a low voltage start-up feature in an RV air conditioner, some consideration must be taken and caution used when putting these systems into place so that they can perform optimally while also increasing their lifespan.

The next section will focus on discussing potential problems associated with soft start technology for RV air conditioners.

Problems Associated With Soft Start

Though Soft Start can be beneficial to RV air conditioners, it does come with some potential problems. Not to mention, the installation of a Soft Start unit may cause additional complications for those without the proper DIY skills and tools.

In some cases, Soft Start units may not fit properly. This is due to the size and model of RV air conditioners and the exact type of Soft Start unit being used. If the unit is installed incorrectly or fails to fit, this could lead to issues such as inefficient cooling or complete system malfunctions. Additionally, if power supply is not set up properly in the RV before installing the Soft Start, this can either cause voltage spikes and surges or a drop in voltage that ultimately can damage the unit or other components in the system.

Finally, there is a risk of poor performance associated with Soft Starts. If they are not sized correctly, they will not begin working as intended when they are first switched on. As such, they may become overworked due to often having small pumps that have no ventilation and have limited surge capacity. This can result in difficulties with installations and in some cases damages to appliances.

On the one hand, these risks do exist when utilizing Soft Starts in RV air conditioners. On the other hand, if installed correctly by experienced professionals alongside correct voltage settings, then these potential issues should be avoided altogether.

With that said, understanding how to use Soft Start safely is essential to protecting an RV air conditioner from any potential harm. In the next section we will discuss exactly how owners can leverage this technology for improving their comfort without compromising performance or safety.

How to Use Soft Start

The implementation of a soft start for an RV air conditioner is fairly simple and straightforward. It requires the installation of a special device, called a capacitive start capacitor. This device has two main components: the start capacitor, which helps the compressor motor to start easily at the beginning of each cooling cycle; and the run capacitor, which helps the motor to run efficiently during each cooling cycle. The purpose of installing this device is to reduce the amount of strain on both the compressor motor and the RV’s electrical system when starting up and running the air conditioner.

Increased efficiency can mean lower energy bills, as users can enjoy improved comfort all while saving money. Furthermore, this strategy also helps extend the life expectancy of any RV-specific air conditioning system by reducing wear and tear that comes from frequent hard starts.

On the other hand, some experts debate whether or not installing a soft start for an RV air conditioner is necessary. In addition to needing special expertise from qualified professionals, this strategy could potentially add to the cost of installation – leading some people towards other more financially attractive options like either purchasing and installing a smaller unit or utilizing an existing heater – neither of which would provide quite as much comfort as that provided with a soft start air conditioner installer.

Given these pros and cons, it’s important for anyone who is considering installing a soft start for their RV air conditioner to consider all factors before making their final decision. With this in mind, it’s time to take a look at how to bring this project to its conclusion – starting with drawing up our conclusion.

CONCLUSION: In this section we explored the potential benefits and drawbacks associated with using a soft start for an RV air conditioner, ultimately concluding that the decision should be based on personal preferences and goals in order to make an informed plan for bringing any project so equipped to completion. Next up, we dive into our conclusion by exploring what one should look out for as they’re winding down their soft start installation process.


The soft start technology for RV air conditioners is the latest innovation on the market and has proven itself to be an incredibly useful feature. Compared to traditional installation, it is much simpler and requires a fraction of the time. It does not require any complicated wiring and can reduce the risk of power surges that can damage expensive components. Moreover, the soft start dramatically reduces startup current draw and protects your RV from damaging electricity spikes that can lead to expensive repairs.

The biggest downside of installing a soft start air conditioner is its upfront cost. A soft start system might cost significantly more than a traditional unit, so it is important to measure the value provided against its cost before purchasing. However, there are various manufacturers offering soft starts, so shop around for the best deal available to ensure that you don’t overspend on a new air conditioner.

At the end of the day, whether you choose a traditional or a soft start system depends on your situation. If you are looking for an easier installation process and improved performance and protection for your RV, then considering a soft start air conditioner may be worth it in the long run.

Responses to Common Questions

Are there any safety considerations when using a Soft Start for an RV Air Conditioner?

Yes, there are safety considerations when using a Soft Start for an RV Air Conditioner. The Soft Start device limits the amount of current sent to the RV Air Conditioner. This reduced current can prevent potential surges and power outages from occurring and causing damage to the unit. Additionally, regular maintenance must be performed on the RV Air Conditioner in order to ensure it is running smoothly and not at risk of overheating or other malfunctions. Finally, the RV Air Conditioner should be checked for any frayed wiring or other signs of wear and tear before being connected to the Soft Start device. Following these safety measures is critical for avoiding any accidents or damage associated with using a Soft Start for an RV Air Conditioner.

How do Soft Starts for RV Air Conditioners work?

Soft Starts for RV Air Conditioners work by reducing the start-up demand on your RV generator or power connection. A Soft Start slowly ramps up the current draw of the compressor instead of the peak current used when starting-up a regular air conditioner. This reduces stress on the power supply, extends the life of your RV air conditioning system and helps save energy. To use a Soft Start, it needs to be wired into the power supply of your AC unit. It then monitors the incoming power and starts up gradually. Once it’s at full running speed, it continues to maintain a smooth cycle without overloading the system, consuming more energy than necessary. Soft Starts also provide you with additional features, such as overload protection, temperature sensing and digital display readouts to help keep your RV air conditioner running perfectly.

What are the benefits of having a Soft Start for an RV Air Conditioner?

The benefits of having a Soft Start for an RV Air Conditioner are many.

The most obvious benefit is the added comfort that comes from slowly ramping up the power of your RV’s air conditioner. This gradual increase in temperature allows occupants to acclimatize to the temperature level their bodies require. With this extra comfort, it’s also possible to get a better night’s sleep by avoiding sudden changes in ambient temperatures.

In addition to improving comfort levels, Soft Start technology can also save on energy costs. By gradually powering up the air conditioner, less energy is used in a given time period than if it were to be switched on suddenly at full power. As such, this type of installation can help you reduce your electricity bills while still keeping your RV at an appropriate temperature.

Finally, Soft Start technology can increase the lifespan of your RV’s air conditioner unit by reducing any potential strain placed on it when powering up quickly. By limiting the ‘shock’ this device feels each time you switch it on, you can expect greater reliability and performance from your AC unit over time.